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“Contemporary with young toddlers” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Disney's Contemporary Resort

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Disney's Contemporary Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   4600 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #130 of 329 Hotels in Orlando
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Contemporary with young toddlers”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

1st family trip to Disney at the end of October 2012. We knew we wanted to be on the monorail with our young girls (ages 1 and 3), and we debated whether to stay at the Grand Floridian, the Polynesian, the Contemporary, or Bay Lake towers. In the end, we decided on Club Level at the Contemporary, and we were very pleased with this decision.

1) Location - With young children, convenience is very important, and Club level at the Contemporary allowed us to enjoy a casual breakfast in the lounge every morning (with some fruit loops to go) and a snack every evening while overlooking the Magic Kingdom (plus wine and beer for mom and dad). In addition, we timed it and from our hotel room door to the main entrance at the Magic Kingdom, it was 20 minutes. And that is the long way around on the monorail, meaning that you get on at the Contemporary, and then make stops at the Transportation Center, the Polynesian, the Grand Floridian, and finally the Magic Kingdom. This location on the monorail is great because being the first stop after the Magic Kingdom, there were always open spots on the monorail in the morning, and we never had a problem rolling in with our double stroller and finding seats. This also means that the Contemporary is the 1st stop at the end of the day, so it is less than 10 minutes from the Magic Kingdom to your hotel room. As much fun as the Magic Kingdom is, with the little ones, when it's time to go, it is time to go.

2) Views (see pictures) - the Views from either side of the Contemporary are fantastic. On one side, the views facing west offer a panoramic view of the Magic Kingdom, Seven Seas Lagoon, The Grand Floridian, and the Polynesian. On the other side, the expansive views of Bay lake and the pool area are quite impressive as well. On the Bay Lake side, the eclectic water show can be seen and heard (it is loud) every night around 10pm.

3) Club Level (see pictures) - We stayed on the Bay Lake side Club Level which is cheaper than the Theme Park View but offers the best of both worlds, as you can enjoy the Magic Kingdom and fireworks view from the lounge while enjoying the Bay Lake view from your room. The food options on the Club Level are good, but not spectacular. And don't expect too many food changes on a day to day basis. With a few exceptions, the food that is offered on day 1 of your vacation will be the same options that are offered on days 2, 3, and 4 as well. One note is that there are a couple commonly requested items which you have to ask for. Wine is available, but you have to ask. (beer is stocked in the fridge). Also, 'to-go' cups are available upon request for coffee or other beverages. One additional note here is that the Club level provides an open environment, and we met several other families, groups, and we were able to share ideas and experiences. Given that this was our first Disney trip, it was valuable to get the inside scoop from other visitors.

The rooms on club level are the same as standard rooms, but we did learn that they are actually slightly larger than some other standard rooms at other luxury resorts. They are still pretty basic, just a bit wider than we expected.

The staff on the club level floor is nice. There were always 2-5 staff members sitting at the desk waiting to help with directions, reservations, or offer advice. Of course, they are still Disney employees so that are obligated to give you the canned responses. For instance, we wanted to go to Chef Mickey one night, and the concierge indicated that there were no reservations, and they suggested other restaurants. We decided to try our luck at Chef Mickey anyway and after only a 15 minute wait, we were sitting at a table.

4) Check-in. This was our biggest annoyance for the trip, and I presume it is an isolated incident, but thought I needed to share here. We had an early flight, and arrived at the hotel about 12:15pm on that day of our check-in. Although check-in was not guaranteed until 3:00pm, we had called ahead and requested early check-in. Well, at 12:15pm, we were told by the concierge staff on the Club Level floor that our room was not clean/ready yet. Not a big deal, and we figured that it would be a quick 20 minutes for someone to go in a clean our room. Well, two and a half hours later and we were still munching on goldfish in the lounge waiting for our room. During this time, we could see the maids moving down the floor cleaning rooms. None of the concierge staff made any effort to contact the maids, so we waited until 2:45 for our room. With 2 small children in need of naps after a long flight, this was certainly not the high level of service that we were expecting upon arrival.

5) Pool - The pools, beach, and water play area at the Contemporary is nice. They don't have the 'wow' factor that some other Disney resort pools have, but they were actually better than we expected. There is a large free-form pool, a children's water play area, and a circular pool out by the lake. Just take the elevator down to the 1st floor, walk out the back, and you are there; very convenient. The only thing missing was a zero entry pool for the little ones. The pool at the Polynesian is a bit more dramatic (and offers zero entry), but the Contemporary pool and pool deck was larger than we expected. It was off-season and temps in the low 70's, so the pools were pretty open all day. The beach, marina, and Sand Bar Cafe are also right down by the pool, so convenient and easy access to all.

6) Food - We had breakfast every morning at the Club level lounge (bagels, pastries, oatmeal, fruit, cereal, cappuccino machine, etc), and snacks every evening (apples with caramel sauce, cookies, small desserts, etc). Beverages are available in the club level refrigerator all day (juice, milk, soft drinks, and wine/beer in the evenings). We were never around for the evening h'orderves (5-7pm), but we heard that they were good (but not great).

Also, if you are first time visitor, it's probably a good idea to get some reservations for meals. Or at least have a plan. We made the mistake of not having any reservations or a plan one night, and trying to speed around the Magic Kingdom at 630pm looking for dinner with 2 toddlers can be recipe for disaster. After dark, it can be difficult to find a restaurant with an open table and chairs. It finally got to be 7:30 and we ended up just coming back to the Café at the hotel. That is always a fall back option, but options are limited at the Contempo Café and.

7) Character Dining - It took our little ones a few days to get used to the characters, but by the end, they would run right up and give the characters a hug. The goal of the character dining is to two-fold, (1) get pictures with the characters and (2) eat a decent meal. We did 3 character meals, and all were buffet styles; Chef Mickey (at the Contemporary), Crystal Palace (at the Magic Kingdom), and 1900 Park Fare (at the Grand Floridian). Our favorite was the lunch with Winnie the Pooh and friends at the Crystal Palace. Chef Mickey was fun, and 1900 Park Fare was ok. Well, the food was probably the best at 1900 Park fare, but the dining room was basically a reception hall with no windows.

In the end, the Contemporary certainly is expensive, but the location is ideal, and I have a soft spot for the historic hotel and the monorail going through it is a unique feature that you just can't duplicate anywhere else.

Hope this helps with your planning and good luck!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Orlando, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

Disney's Contemporary Resort is perfect in proximity to the Magic Kingdom and many other attractions. With the monorail that runs through the fourth floor going to the Disney Transportation Site (not sure of its real name) you can easily get to Epcot, as well as Disney's Polyneisian Resort, if you want to go to the great restaurant of Oh Hanna. Overall, this is a GREAT Resort that should not be passed up, if you have the oppurtunity to stay there.

Room Tip: Rooms with a view of the Magic Kingdom are amazing!!!!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Wilmington, Vermont
Level Contributor
64 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

How could you do better? We arrived at the resort gate and were greeted by "Welcome home!" We got the same greeting from everyone we met checking in. We stayed in the 3 story "Garden Wing" in a room overlooking the lake. The room was large and well appointed. I recommend this wing if you like it quiet and peaceful. The large heated pool was just outside the door along with a beach and other recreation facilities. The monorail stops in the building so we were minutes from the parks. Everyone we met had the awesome Disney attitude and looked for ways to make our stay more enjoyable. The meal plan was a bit confusing, but when explained by anyone I asked, and I did many times, became simple.

Room Tip: Garden wing for peaceful sleep.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

I always wanted to stay here when I was a kid--dreaming of it as an 8-year old as the monorail went through the hotel on the way to Disney World. I finally brought my kids to Disney this year and had to stay at my childhood dream hotel, and were fortunate to get the VIP rooms on the top floor--with our room looking out at the Magic Kingdom just like the commercials. In the end, the dream was as good as I had hoped--the close proximity to the Magic Kingdom meant we simply walked over after a great complimentary breakfast in the lounge. In the evening, our tired legs once again retired to the lounge for snacks, juices for the kids, and wine and beer for the adults. Large flat panel tvs played classic Disney movies, while I could read the New York Times or local papers. The room is beautiful--with a Deco vibe and super soft beds. All arrangements for the day are handled at the lobby with no lineups or concerns. It may have helped that we went in early February without the usual mobs of people, but this was a place I would gladly return to.

Room Tip: The VIP rooms have breakfast, mid-day snacks and evening 'adult beverages' and appetizers fo...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Lyme, CT
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012 via mobile

We just left the Contemporary having enjoyed the first half of Thanksgiving week Disney style. We had a great stay and a far different experience than many reviewers. For starters, the check-in staff was friendly and welcoming, and the process efficient. We had a Bay Lake View on the 11th floor with a very clean and spacious room. I have 2 teenagers so the third pull out bed came in handy so that they didn't have to share. The location couldn't be beat. We took a water shuttle to the Hoop De Do review at the campground, and a monorail to our Luau at the Polynesian and a restaurant at the Grand Floridian. A 5 minute walk to the Magic Kingdom, monorail to Epcot and busses to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. We had quick breakfasts at the Contempo Cafe to get an early start at the parks. We also had the pleasure of using the pool a few afternoons. The location really allows you the extra time to relax which isn't always easy to do at Disney. We would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

The location of the Contemporary is perfect. Having the monorail made traveling to and from the parks so much faster and easier. Service is top notch. Pool is fabulous. Only thing we didn't like was the food in the casual dining room. Not up to the standards we expected. Overall, great place to stay.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
51 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

So in planning our honeymoon we decided that a Tower Room with a Theme Park View would be a great idea despite the nearly $600 a night price tag for a basic four walls room.

At check-in I asked the front desk agent about availability and pricing for an upgrade to a concierge level room. He had no clue. After a 10 minute conversation with someone on the phone and a taking a half page of notes we were told there was no availability. He then proceeded to take FOREVER to check us into our room. We had just gotten off of a rather long flight from the west coast and we had no desire to spend 20 minutes (which was exactly how long it took, no exaggeration) standing at the front desk while this guy took his sweet time.

Once keys were issued I sent my partner up to the room while I took care of the park tickets. The lobby concierge was truly exceptional. He made the process fast and efficient and made sure that I was fully taken care of. He was definitely true Disney style.

We were assigned a 2 double room, despite having requested a king room. 2 people do not need two beds. I called the front desk to see if a move was possible and was informed that there were a total of 4 king rooms in the entire hotel and they were all occupied.

The beds were by far the most uncomfortable I've ever had the displeasure of sleeping in. $600 a night for a room and you can't splurge on decent mattresses? It was like sleeping on a rock, with slightly more dense rocks as pillows. Don't expect a good night of sleep.

The bathroom was all but non-functional. Tiny shower, shallow (but massively wide) sinks that splash water everywhere that were 3 feet off the ground, and a toilet with a flush that could wake the dead. The lack of counter space was also a bit frustrating. Having to keep my toiletries on the wet bar outside was annoying.

In the end it was a place to keep our stuff and pass out at the end of a long day in the parks. You can get the same quality of room staying in the All Stars or Pop Century for a quarter of the cost.

The one thing I must rave about is the view of the Magic Kingdom. We watched the fireworks from our room and we couldn't have had a better seat. It wasn't worth $600 a night, but still was spectacular.

Room Tip: Unless you have piles of money to burn, or are celebrating a special occasion, stay at a less expens...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Contemporary Resort

Address: 4600 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#30 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#36 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#108 Family Hotel in Orlando
#111 Business Hotel in Orlando
#134 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Disney's Contemporary Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 655
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Retreat to this ultra-modern Resort hotel and discover award-winning dining, white-sand beaches, spectacular views and dazzling pools. Walk to Magic Kingdom park, or catch the Resort Monorail as it breezes through the iconic A-frame Contemporary Tower. Inside, a 90-foot-tall mural by Disney Legend Mary Blair-responsible for the distinct look and feel of the "it's a small world" attraction-celebrates the Grand Canyon and the American Southwest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Disney`s Contemporary Hotel Orlando
Disney Contemporary Hotel
Contemporary Disney Resort
Disneys Contemporary Resort
Contemporary Hotel Disney
Contemporary Resort
Disney Contemporary Resort
Disneys Contemporary Hotel

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